I personally love the small, hidden tricks and smart solutions in any product. Those tricks you notice and think are simple and solve the problem perfectly : a marker on an adhesive tape, a small LED that indicates in the darkness where the light switch is, the magnet in the MacBook Air charger. They make your life easier and for a moment you feel thankful to the inventor.
What we do at UX studio is that we break down the user journey into small mental steps and rebuild it again and again…and the results are different every time, like when you play with LEGO. So like a psychologist, we just sit and observe how users behave, how they react, what their strategies are to solve their problem.
With the ‘Foosio’ fantasy football game we repeated this process 26 times, via usability tests and interviews.We wanted to make the ‘Foosio’ game more enjoyable and here are a few of our conclusions:
It is a game not a math homework. Let user focus on the main interaction.
The most exciting part of ‘Foosio’ is when users create their team, and search for the best 11 football players. There is a limited budget and each footballer has a different value. Users focus on finding underdogs: those footballers who cost less but gain more points for them. So at this point we show them not only their remaining budget but also the average budget left per player.They don’t need to waste their energy on math. It is a simple calculation for the programmer, but it lets all users focus on player selection.
Don’t overload the user’s memory, keep it as simple as possible.
Another critical interaction within the game is when users change their minds and want to swap one of their players to a better one. At this point, we not only show them the new possibilities but also keep the replaced player as a sticky element. So they don’t need to remember the name, average points and value of the footballer to compare with other ones.
Let your users create their own user journey
Users have their own strategy for team creation. We can not force them to follow predefined steps. It is a game not a tax return form :-). During tests users selected 3-4 favourite players, then they started to think about the formation. They filled up the empty positions at the end. Unlike our competitors who ask them to set the formation first then select players, we let them do the two things simultaneously, so they can change formation while selecting players.
We all want our users to be thankful for having our product, but that is not an easy process. We need to work hard to make the user’s life easier and more enjoyable.
We are constantly sharing our thoughts and tricks on this blog, so that you can make more user-friendly interfaces. Don’t miss your chance, follow us on Facebook!